Rachel Alatalo ’18 will combine a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship with an independent research project in Argentina following her graduation from Hamilton in May.
“I chose Argentina partially because of the literary history of the area,” said Alatalo. “Julio Cortázar, my favorite short story writer, is from Argentina, and I'm interested in seeing the country he lived in and wrote about. I'm considering pursuing a career in literary translation after the Fulbright,” she said, “so I think it's important to fully immerse myself in the language and culture of the kinds of works I'm interested in translating.”
Alatalo also chose Argentina because of her research project. She noted that Argentina has some of the most progressive LGBTQ+ human rights laws in the world, and she plans to volunteer with an LGBTQ+ organization during her time there. “I'm curious to see how these laws affect the daily life of the people they're meant to protect, and see if there is anything to be applied to the LGBTQ+ human rights situation in the United States,” Alatalo said.
Majors: Creative Writing and Hispanic Studies
Hometown: Hometown: Wilmington, Mass.
High School: Wilmington High School
A creative writing and Hispanic studies major, Alatalo has been elected to honor society Phi Beta Kappa. She received the Thomas E. Meehan Prize in Creative Writing, and the Winslow Prize in Romance Languages at Hamilton’s Class & Charter Day in 2017.
Alatalo is a Writing Center tutor, and student technical assistant for Hamilton’s Audio Visual Services. She has held several positions with the Duel Observer student newsletter, is head prose editor for Red Weather, the college’s literary magazine, and editor of Odyssey Online. Last summer she was communications intern at OutRight Action International, an LGBTIQ human rights, non-governmental organization (NGO) based in New York City.
The Fulbright ETA Program places U.S. students as English teaching assistants in schools or universities overseas, thus improving foreign students’ English language abilities and knowledge of the United States while increasing their own language skills and knowledge of the host country. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright is the largest U.S. international exchange program.